Recent LGBTQ+ History Highlights in the U.S.

The origins of LGBTQ+ Pride Month stem from the June 1969 Stonewall Riots. In response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn of Greenwich Village, NYC, patrons fought back when police chose to act with violent brutality. The Stonewall Riots are the widely considered the catalyst for the U.S. gay liberation movement, sparking the still-ongoing battle for LGBTQ+ rights.

We credit those who have fought before us, who advocate and carry the weight of social justice labor in this moment, and the next generation of leaders who will continue the LGBTQ+  liberation movement for years to come.

In honor of Pride Month, let’s celebrate five major LGBTQ+ milestones of the last decade, together:

  • 2012

    Barack Obama becomes the first sitting president to voice support for legalizing same-sex marriage. Tammy Baldwin is elected as the first openly gay senator in history.

  • 2015

    Obergefell vs. Hobbs deems same-sex marriage a fundamental right by the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, and Due Process Clause. The Marriage Equality Ruling legalizes same sex marriage in all 50 states.

  • 2018

    Phillipe Cunningham is sworn into Minneapolis City Council, as the first transgender man of color to be elected to public office in the U.S.

  • 2020

    The Supreme Court rules that in the case of Bostock v. Clayton County, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.

    group of people sitting inside room
    Image: Jopwell on
  • 2021

    Rachel Levine becomes the first transgender federal official, overseeing key health programs and offices, the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, and the Office of the Surgeon General.

LGBTQ+ history began well before the 20th century, and it will continue well after, despite the cruel, recurring attempts to invalidate and erase LGBTQ+ communities and culture. 

Look back at the earliest instances of recorded history to realize that LGBTQ+ people have existed since ancient civilization, that we have survived centuries of oppression and persecution. We will continue to survive and thrive – loudly and proudly. 

Learn more about local opportunities to celebrate the progress made and the joy in our community with PIOW’s 2022 LGBTQ+ New England event calendar. 

<strong>Emma Callahan</strong>
Emma Callahan

Emma Callahan (she/her) is a member of the Pride in Our Workplace Board of Directors. In her professional career, she has built the frameworks for grassroots business groups to strategize scaling, define best practices, and design governance for long term success. Emma’s mission for LGBTQ+ BRGs is to provide a platform of awareness supporting the voice and professional growth of entities’ LGBTQ+ community while fostering inclusive and equitable corporate cultures.

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